God did extraordinary miracles through Paul… In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. Acts 19:11, 20
Luke, the author of Acts, tells how the name of Jesus spreads through supernatural events in Paul’s ministry at Ephesus. Paul preaches the gospel at the hall of Tyrannus for two years and some who hear the message seize his work aprons and sweat cloths to heal the sick and cast out demons. Ephesus is known as a center of pagan religion and dark magic is the norm. Wielders of this magic cast out demons for profit. Some Jews try to get in on these activities by calling on secret names to exorcise evil spirits. One day, the sons of a chief priest try using Jesus’s name to cast out a demon. The demon knows they don’t actually believe in Jesus and recognizes they are powerless. The demon stays put and gives these power-opting sons such a beating they are the ones cast out of the house, overpowered and bleeding.
This week, we will take a closer look at this mysterious passage and find out it isn’t about “magical” clothing, the charisma of Paul or the power of demons. God, who wants to be known by all people, is the main character. We will see how God authenticates the Gospel, how he views his holy name, and how much he wants us to bring the sins we hide into the light of his forgiving grace.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
On page 36 of your Jesus & The City journal, write a prayer asking God to be known, centered and honored in your life to reflect Jesus in all you do.
NEW TESTAMENT READING PLAN
Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.
Today’s reading is Titus 1.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.